About Midland Scientific

Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, Midland Scientific, Inc. (MSI) is a full-line distributor of laboratory products including chemicals, instrumentation, general lab supplies, glassware, lab consumables, media, measurement equipment, plasticware, reagents, solutions amongst others.

MSI primarily serves the agricultural, educational, food, industrial, and research markets with a sales force that covers the entire United States.

Services:
  • P21 Integration
  • UI & UX
  • Akeneo PIM Integration
Website:
Platform

Magento 2.3

Challenges Faced

Initially, Midland Scientific was operating with a B2B e-commerce platform- B2B seller by ECC. It consisted of around 20 percent of the user base online. With 400k products in its inventory, created in P21 and PIM, and all of them published on their B2B eCommerce platform. They have done many customizations on B2B Seller functionalities over the years, yet they did not get the desired results with their Search function – since users found it difficult to find the required product with specific attributes in it. Additionally, the speed and accuracy of the site was not up to the mark either.

They also had concerns about the User Interface, which had plenty of limitations and a lot of time used to be consumed when making any change. Similarly, customizations were extremely time-consuming as well. They were unhappy with the support from the previous vendor as the procedure to get issues fixed had not been swift.

Solutions

Design & Development

The Midland team chose Magento 2 which supports their B2B Features involving:

  • Company Structure
  • Quick Order
  • Multiple Checkout process
  • Account Management
  • Promotion

This gave them the ability to customize the site based on their needs.

Our certified Magento developers and designers initiated the design and development stage. We formulated a brand new optimized website with enhanced user experience to fulfill the expectations of the customers. The design stage also involved an intricate process to provide a fully customizable Magento site to meet the ever-evolving necessities of the end-users.

From the technical perspective, our developers assured improvements such as valid codes that comply with current web standards, improved functionality, and wider accessibility for the customers.

Our implementations

Search

With the help of ElasticSearch and ElasticSuite extension, we implemented a customized search based on Product Name, Category, Keywords, Product Attributes, Customer Part Number, etc.


Customer Registration

Customer Registration is classified into various categories on this website. On a high level, it is classified as Existing Customer for MSI and New Customer.


Company Structure and Company Switcher

An entry for a company is created by a Company Administrator through a new or existing Customer creation process, by which the company is provided with a P21 Customer id(Company id).


Invoices

Invoices raised for a particular company will be displayed under the My Invoices module in My Account Portal. This feature helps the customer to keep track of invoices that need to be paid (open) and closed.


Request Quote

This feature helps the registered customer to negotiate pricing by submitting a ‘Request Quote’ by adding a list of required products.


Suspended and Approve Suspended Orders

The orders placed by the customers above their purchase limit were coined as Suspended Orders. The users are now structured based on their roles in a hierarchical manner i.e., Administrators, Managers, Default Users.

Item Restrictions

Midland Scientific has some hazardous products which need to be restricted for certain customers. So, the feature of Enabling Request to Buy button instead of Add to cart was quite helpful as this feature notifies the Administrator/CSR, thereby he can decide whether to release the product to the respective user.


Scheduled Orders

This feature is used to place an order at the prescribed release date mentioned by the customer. It also helps the user to select the required Ship-to address while placing a scheduled order.


Tax Exemption

A customer-friendly solution was introduced to enable customers the ability to upload tax documents and avail tax exemption based on their eligibility.


Quick Order and Shopping List

This feature helps the user to quickly dial in all the products one by one in the product field and add products to the cart instantly. Customers can use their own product number to add the product in the cart.

Shopping List – Multiple shopping lists can be handled through this feature. Customers are able to add/delete products on the list.


Sales Representatives and Customer Support Representatives

Sales Reps & CSRs will have logins on the website where they can select particular customers/companies and place orders for their customers.

P21 Integration

Magento2 P21 Integration is done via Cloras, a unique solution from DCKAP that made this achievable by integrating the newly updated Magento 2x with P21. Along with P21 integration, DCKAP has implemented Overall Epicor P21 service in this project and enhanced some main functionalities in their website, as follows:

Create Customer Sync

This sync helps to map the customer with P21 Customer ID by a new or existing customer creation process, it also transfers customer data from Magento to P21.

Dynamic Pricing

After the customer segmentation process, a dynamic pricing solution was introduced to display price values to the P21 customers and quote another price for normal users via scheduled calls.

Customer Update from P21

Updation of Customer details from P21 to Magento 2 is carried over by this customer update sync from P21.

Product Sync

This sync helps to create/update products from P21 to Magento 2. This sync helps to update the Quantity, Product Description, Unit of Measure, etc.

Displaying Personalized Quotes

With quotes displayed for P21 customers and enabling them to accept or reject the quote. Post accepting the quote, an automated mail will be sent to the admin and the customer for effective communication.

Sales Rep Sync

Sales Representatives were created in Magento 2 using this sync which fetches Customer data from P21 to M2. This Sales Rep user is able to access the customer account and place orders on behalf of customers. Sales Representatives will have access to the admin as well to manage the store.

Create Order

Once the customer places an order with in-stock products this sync helps to import those orders from Magento 2 to P21 with valid order details following which involves processing the order by the P21 user.

Rodrigo Neves
Technology Officer, Midland Scientific, Inc.

“I was testing the interface a couple minutes ago and you guys did a great job on Cloras. It was super easy for me to map that Order Type field on the Magento Order integration.”

Product Information Management – Akeneo

The Products Information that are stored in Akeneo were imported to Magento using the PIMgento extension. Products are classified into two product types; namely Parent Product & Child Product. Child products are managed as normal products in Akeneo and Parent products are created as separate entities. Additionally, the Child products are mapped to the Parent product to ensure efficient categorization.

The Parent products were termed as grouped products in Magento and Child products were listed as ‘Simple products’. Simple products can be mapped to grouped products and imported to Magento 2 through PIMgento. We also set up Cron Jobs to synchronize all the products from Akeneo to Magento 2 on a daily basis.

We also added brands and created them as entities in Akeneo which is imported to Magento through a separate API. It involves transferring brands and brand images through it. A Cron Job is set up to synchronize all the brands from Akeneo to Magento 2 on a daily basis.

The website is now integrated with an advantage in creating and managing the categories for all available products. This solution enables the store owner to import or export the product data from the local storage files with just a single click.

Conclusion

The Midland Scientific website is now equipped with a completely transitioned Magento 2 store with power-packed integrations & customizable features to delight their customers. The challenges DCKAP faced during this project, including enabling the integration between Magento 2x with Epicor P21, were extensive. Yet, our strong technical team were keenly able to hurdle through with their expertise.

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